The St. Louis Blues have put themselves into the history books with their turnaround in the 2019 calendar year. However, the storyteller’s perspective will be painted by the end result.
The St. Louis Blues have almost completed the unthinkable. They have gone from an outlier, a bottom feeder and a forgotten mess to a team with a real future.
The current squad of Blues can take on anyone and beat them. Whether that holds true over a seven game series remains to be seen.
What we do know is, when healthy, they have four lines that can produce. They are not afraid to put any of their lines out in most any situation.
The funny thing is how different things were just a few months ago. It seems like forever, but it was only in January that the Blues were left for dead.
That’s between two or three months ago, depending on what point you want to think of as the turnaround. Regardless of when you think it started, the reality is the Blues were in last place on January 2, posting a record of 15-18-4.
Now, the team has seven games left and are 41-27-8. They have gone from three games under .500 to 14 games over .500 and still have a realistic shot at being the top team in the division.
That is not extremely likely, but nobody thought they would even make the playoffs. So, saying they won’t be able to overtake Winnipeg would be foolish given everything they have done.
What makes this so impressive is that is just is not done. As the Post-Dispatch pointed out, only five teams have ever gone from the bottom spot to a playoff spot, with the Blues about to be the sixth.
Even more impressive is that the Blues will be the first team in the last 20 years to do this. That means that even those of us that are old enough to be around the last time this happened probably were not aware it happened. No offense, but few in St. Louis probably knew much about that 1996-97 Ottawa Senators team.
However, despite the impressive nature of all this – the historic nature of it all, if you will – none of it will matter if the Blues crash and burn.
As a society, we have short memories and short attention span. Whatever happened most recently is what we all remember. Whatever we just saw is the greatest or worst thing ever.
So, unfortunately, the Blues have to make a good playoff run for any of this to matter. Maybe the do not need to go all the way to the final, although that would be fantastic, but they cannot just make the playoffs and hope we all remember how great this run has been.
If the Blues manage to crash out in the first round or even make the second round but have a terrible showing, this entire thing is for nothing. Nobody is going to remember how far the Blues came in their turnaround if it all ends in the third week of April.
How many of us truly remember how great the 1999-00 season was? Not many, if we are honest.
Most remember the team getting taken down by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the playoffs. We do not remember the Presidents Trophy. We remember the failure.
Is that fair? Not at all. In hindsight, you should remember the good times and with enough time and distance from the actual event, you can see it in a better light.
However, the brutal reality is that as wonderful as this turnaround has been, nobody will remember if the Blues cannot keep it going into April and May.
Hopefully, the Blues will go on a magical run come playoff time and we can all look back on this season with great fondness. We will see soon enough.